Author Q&A with Colleen Morton Busch
Author Q&A , Latest Posts / July 25, 2011

Colleen Morton Busch wrote the non-fiction book “Fire Monks” (book review) which tells the amazing story of monks trying to save their sanctuary during the California wildfires wich ravaged the state. I’ve had some questions about the book, Zen and more which Ms. Busch was kind enough to answer. Q. What are the connections between Zen and firefighting disciplines? A. For both monks and firefighters, awareness is essential—staying present in difficult circumstances. Both learn to work closely with others, to rely on the mutual support of peers. Both often put the well-being of others before self. Q. How did Zen help the Tassajara Five face the flames? A. Zen cultivates composure—the ability to welcome whatever comes and to meet it completely and directly, without getting ensnared by ideas or emotions. During the fire, this meant that they could feel fear or anxiety but not let those emotions carry them away. It meant that they could just continue to respond to whatever needed doing because they weren’t stuck in expectations for how things “should” be or entertaining anxieties about what the next moment might bring. Q. Did you find the Tassajara Five willing to openly share their experience for the public?…

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